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Overall Rating
4.15

Awesome46.76%
Worth A Look: 35.97%
Average: 7.19%
Pretty Bad: 5.76%
Total Crap: 4.32%

8 reviews, 91 user ratings


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Dish, The
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by Dark Horizons

"The highlight of Aussie film this year"
4 stars

After creating two of the cleverest and most biting comedy shows ever with "The Late Show" and "Frontline", I was eagerly looking forward to Working Dog's 1997 flick "The Castle" - and was massively disappointed. Though my opinion was in a definite minority, I thought the movie was just - well boring.

The humour had the dull 'ocker' quality (a bit like "Northern Exposure" times ten) and the story was just so sentimental and good moraled I had to force myself to stay in my chair to watch it. Sure there was some inspired moments (namely the inept lawyer, and the multicultural neighbour meeting in the garage scenes) but the rest was just 'the battlers fighting against the big guys' story which has been done countless times before. Thankfully "The Panel" has since restored my faith in WD, though in its third year it needs a little bit of a reworking.

That said I went into the Dish not sure what to expect. Partial anticipation cause the idea sounded good and the shorts looked fun, partial dread due to 'The Castle'. Coming out I was very satisfied - this is a major improvement on the Castle in terms of both technical merit and entertainment level. The humour is much more consistent throughout and is both smarter and more appealing - there's no real 'roll on the floor' laughs or memorable sequences, rather it'll leave you chuckling throughout its entire runtime. The other big improvement is the drama with the 'emotional scenes' never dragging down the pace or becoming too sentimental - each fits with the story (unlike the Castle's 'brother in jail' scenes which leave one scratching their head wondering why its included).

The storyline is actually split in two with half the movie concentrating on the fellows running the Dish, the other half showing how the townsfolk (specifically The Mayor and his family) react to the news. That second half is purely for comic relief and works perfectly with the different personalities of the town characters playing off each other with great result. The workers around the dish is half jokes/half drama. While most of the gags with each character is one-note (ie. American not understanding Aussie slang, the over-anxious guard) they work, with Kevin Harrington as the sarcastic dish aligner being the best. The drama on the other hand is a little more hit and miss - Harrington's subplot about his anger toward the American doesn't really click though thankfully is resolved pretty early. Sam Neill's wife storyline on the other hand works with a deft touch, whilst the moon landing related scenes, although overly long toward the end, run smoothly.

The soundtrack with the movie contains some great 60's tunes though at times they're played so loud that it ruins the mood on the screen. There's also a prologue/coda to the movie which is startlingly unoriginal and ordinary - Sam Neill remembering the events through flashback (much like "Saving Private Ryan") which was totally unneeded. Nevertheless despite the minor weaknesses, the rest of the movie runs superbly.

It lacks that flair and unique flavour which'll make it remembered along the lines of such flicks as "The Adventures of Priscilla" and "Muriel's Wedding", but its certainly the highlight of Aussie film this year and one of the best in the past five. - Garth Franklin. Score: 8 / 10

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4390&reviewer=239
originally posted: 12/13/00 23:13:26
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For more in the Australian series, click here.

User Comments

8/17/12 Ed Great movie about a greater event. Charming, entertaining and down to earth. 5 stars
5/27/11 yanks4oz Spot on, Matt! (Dec07) - appears reviewer too young to realize just how GIANT the Leap was! 5 stars
11/23/09 madie BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
10/29/08 Jeremy I loved the soundtrack. 4 stars
10/27/08 TUFF NUTS IT WAS AWESOME AARON CAN GO SUCK IT 5 stars
10/01/08 Annie G It would have been predictable to poke fun at these people but this film does not. 4 stars
9/20/08 Lottie Holmes Wonderful movie! Loved the telescope and story line. Don't miss this one! 5 stars
5/16/08 PAUL SHORTT A QUIETLY MOVING FILM THAT DELIGHTS IN SMALL THINGS 3 stars
3/21/08 frances sawyer rarely a factual movie presented so entertainly 5 stars
3/04/08 GERI EXCELLENT, WHAT A PLEASANT SUPRISE LOVELY PEOPLE A LOVELY TIME 5 stars
12/04/07 Matt Charming, witty and fun - with a groovy soundtrack. A rare gem. 5 stars
10/25/07 Aaron GAY GAY GAY GAY NEVER WANT TO WATCH IT AGAIN 1 stars
8/11/07 D.Earnest watched on a whim & was astonished & delighted 5 stars
2/04/07 Warren Absolutley the best movie. Authentic and very funny 5 stars
11/05/06 K3LL!3 this movie put me to sleep, i had to watch it for a skool assignment. i would rather fail 1 stars
10/23/06 Random great. That's all 5 stars
5/07/06 chienne Loved it, soundtrack, 60's feel & genuinely hilarious moments 5 stars
12/31/05 Peter Harding Fantastic movie 5 stars
10/26/05 cdgffg great 5 stars
10/11/05 brenton morely it sucks 1 stars
12/12/04 Evan Good "tribute" flick 4 stars
5/13/04 combie great, not just funny but educational,never new australia was involved 5 stars
3/17/04 Jaimi I think it is an inspirational movie 4 stars
2/26/04 sprout fun to watch 4 stars
1/07/04 Amba Very good, enjoyable to watch 5 stars
10/22/03 Stephen Hon This review is really disappointing. U contradict urself. I've seen betta. 5 stars
10/20/03 Samuel Sungkook Lee An Inspiring, heartwarming film with a plethora of cleverly thought out comedy. Excellent! 5 stars
1/18/03 chilly a great film and a great soundtrack, watch this film now its great! 5 stars
8/07/02 Kate Superbly acted 5 stars
4/03/02 A.Mcob You can only understand it if you are australian 4 stars
3/18/02 SJKelley A real treat. A confident piece of moviemaking with good performances. 4 stars
10/04/01 George Partington Sweet, lovingly rendered evocation of a period (late 60s) and an event. Full of warmth. 5 stars
9/07/01 darrin perrone heart warming,comedy/drama a movie with heart 5 stars
9/06/01 Monday Morning Very very good. Would recommend to any audience. 4 stars
9/05/01 Warren Burgess The audience actually clapped at the end - is this MN? 5 stars
8/29/01 Gary Very funny and refreshingly low-key and warming, without being sickly and sentimental. 4 stars
8/20/01 rudy great movie! sam neill is a great actor. 5 stars
6/19/01 Mike Larson It was breathtaking 5 stars
5/31/01 Peanut and Banana sandwich Warm and cosy comedy - good flick. 4 stars
5/29/01 Andy Meakin Smart, witty, fun...go see it now. 5 stars
5/26/01 groovekitten.com sweet flick!! very feel-good 5 stars
5/25/01 Matthew Bartley The kind of film that makes you go 'Ah,bless...' Sweet flick 4 stars
5/22/01 sense of humor ligthen up, Steve G. - this isn't a PBS documentary 5 stars
5/22/01 Mark Albrow good,unpretententious,warm,human,true story 5 stars
5/21/01 Judy G. warm, funny, thoroughly enjoyable! 4 stars
5/01/01 Lianne Christian Fabulous 4 stars
5/01/01 Anthony Dever Sausages 5 stars
4/30/01 Allen Coupe total crap 2 stars
4/30/01 Trevor Langdon see it!! 4 stars
4/29/01 t.r. great characters, inspiring story, good laughs, fun nostalgia 5 stars
4/27/01 Steve Emery Excellent - very entertaining 5 stars
4/26/01 Billabongchic Finally, something different instead of the boring, fake, useless films of Hollywood. 5 stars
4/23/01 DishWasher Excellent 5 stars
4/20/01 Matt GO YOU BIG RED FIRE ENGINE 5 stars
4/18/01 A Real NASA Rocket Scientist This flick tells it like it is - wonderful, terrifying. That's what my job is like! 5 stars
4/08/01 Lord Raymos Nice, funny, entertaining, but overly cute like 3 stars
4/05/01 Heather Very funny movie, full of rich, interesting characters, worth looking out for! 5 stars
3/25/01 zoe really good 4 stars
3/24/01 Kyle Saw it in AU, but it is now opening in the US .... not to be missed 5 stars
3/24/01 Sara Character Driven, Quaint, Cute & Funny, Not A Nail Biter, but not meant to be. 4 stars
3/19/01 Alison Bugg Visually stunning,an Austrlian master peice of comedy that envokes the veiwers sences. 5 stars
3/19/01 J.Arcane Cosy,cosy, but not bad for an Aussie flick. 4 stars
3/13/01 Nathan Cherny A well told tale augmented by well timed humor pathos and humanity... thoroughly enjoyed 4 stars
12/13/00 Laron I was going to write out quite a bit but it doesn't seem to fit... in here.. so this will h 5 stars
12/10/00 marko Who needs Disney when we can do the same syrupy bullshit as this film proves. 3 stars
12/02/00 Wendy Buttel Dull as all hell . If it wasnt by Working Dog we wouldnt have heard of it 2 stars
11/28/00 cathy rolland thoroughly enjoyable - brought back lots of memories. I thought the characters were great. 4 stars
11/28/00 Clint Rolfe This film rocks - who's the wanker above who did that review, God I hope you die! 5 stars
11/20/00 Mic Sitch does it again. 4 stars
11/12/00 Adam T Movies about stuffups are allways the best. 5 stars
11/11/00 Aiken Drum Tops 5 stars
11/11/00 actors anonymous Better than your average fruit bowl 5 stars
11/07/00 Steve Gilbert This film has no entertainment value whatsoever 1 stars
11/05/00 John Bamford the sub plotsa do go nowhere but i think they show the down to earthness of the characters 4 stars
11/01/00 Michael S Simple story, told so that it feels great. More inspiring than hilarious though... 5 stars
10/29/00 Fred Nerk Good. 5 stars
10/29/00 steve Great movie, but will it make it in America? 5 stars
10/29/00 Nancy Haire Good music and felt like the times 4 stars
10/27/00 Jodie Ozzie stereotypes were very amusing. Give Rob Stich a break, I thought he did brilliantly 5 stars
10/25/00 Go Swans best oz flick since...the castle. coincidence? 5 stars
10/23/00 Mel AUSSIE CLICHES AT LEAST HAVE TO BE WORTH WATCHING AS OPPOSED TO YANK CLICHED PAP 4 stars
10/23/00 neil bartlett very clever witty comedy full of belly laughs Why didn't they enter it for AFI awards? 5 stars
10/22/00 sean allen I wish it wasn't directed by Sitch 5 stars
10/22/00 Viking A bit slow at times, but overall a great effort 4 stars
10/20/00 matthew smith a Sheer delight, wonderful characters 5 stars
10/19/00 Jason Whittaker The best Australian film in many a year 5 stars
10/18/00 jimmy Cliche-bound, overacted, underwritten; talented team should try harder 3 stars
10/18/00 Klute. A fine Australian movie that will play to all audiences. Great fun, great flick. 4 stars
10/17/00 DjWrexxy OLD TIMER TOTAL BULLSHIT 1 stars
10/15/00 Psike Solid cast and background of the lunar landing make this one worthwhile. 4 stars
9/04/00 Waldo A great cast and a great story. Even better than The Castle. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  27-Apr-2001 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  19-Oct-2000 (M)




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